Hot, hot, hot: AC system at Mount Vernon Courthouse remains broken as temps soar

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MOUNT VERNON -

The air conditioning system at the Mount Vernon Courthouse remains broken as temperatures soar outside.

The air conditioner has been broken for months, making temperatures inside the courthouse sweltering. It was so hot that News 12 had to come outside for relief. In recent weeks, court officials have sent people home with court dates and canceled a jury next week so they wouldn’t have to be subjected to the hot conditions.

It’s so steamy that the staff in the district attorney’s office moved out, and they are looking for the city to fix the problem.

Mount Vernon owns the building, and the DA’s office and the New York State Court System rents out the space. For almost a year, they've battled the city to repair a myriad of issues in the building, including leaks and air conditioning.

MORE: NY state court system sues Mount Vernon, accuses city of being a slumlord 

Attorney Joseph Goubead has been trying cases in the courthouse for 40 years and says he has never seen it like this.

“It’s tough on everybody because everyone is uncomfortable and everything seems to take longer when you are uncomfortable,” he says.

City officials tell News 12 they have bid out to contractors who want to repair the air conditioner. The City Council is calling a special meeting on Monday to address the issue. However, it could be weeks or longer before the problems are solved.

The Office of Court Administration says it is evaluating the feasibility of adding to the temporary portable air conditioners that are currently in use inside the courtrooms.

Mayor Richard Thomas released a statement, saying the court system has intercepted the city's state aid to undertake repairs themselves.

 

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